Monday, December 13, 2010

new sheep

Friday was a whirlwind day for us.  We dropped our child off to help with housework at her Grandmother's house (she is getting paid ) and drove to Baker City, Oregon to pick up five new barbados cross sheep (hair sheep) from a gal over there who had been using them to train her border collie.  The sheep are supposed to be around 3 months old.  Once we got on top of Cabbage Hill the snow on the road started to appear.  It is no wonder people run off the road.  They act like they are invincible and just speed on by.  We met at a gas station in Baker City (it used to just be called Baker, but they changed the name, go figure).  When the gal showed up she had all five sheep in a calf crate.  I figured the crate would be packed with sheep, nope.  They are tiny sheep!!  Only weigh about 20-25# each.  They also have sore mouth.  The lady was very apologetic and offered to drive them over later once it was healed up.  I had no clue what it was.  Annmarie told me it was a virus and typically goes away.  The lady had treated it with iodine that morning.  Basically, it is the same virus that causes hand, foot and mouth disease was what I got out of it.
So we took the sheep and vowed to put them in a separate area.  She had been keeping them in a pen outside so the sheep were used to no shelter.  It was pouring down snow now of course and the restroom on the highway was closed and I missed the only turnoff to LaGrande.  So Annmarie really had to pee.  At the bottom of Cabbage Hill we stopped at the Arrowhead Truck Stop.  I gassed up while waiting for Annmarie.  As we were pulling out of the gas station heading toward the stop sign we head someone honking.  We looked around but didn't see anybody so we pulled up to the stop sign.  More honking ensued and I saw a truck pull in behind us.  We got out and some gentleman came out and asked us if those were Barbados sheep?  We went in to our story and plan and he tells us that he raises Barbados Blackbelly sheep and lives in Pendleton.  Not only that he would only charge us $50 for a small ewe and he has a ram occasionally so we can diversify our bloodlines when necessary.  So he gave us a card so we could get out of the way (we were blocking traffic and the cars were starting to line up).
I asked if Annmarie wanted Chinese or Mexican food in Pendleton.  She wanted Chinese.  So as we are entering town she changes her mind and states she wants Mexican.  So we go down to the Mexican restaurant order food and eat.  One of the cooks comes out and asks if we have sheep in the pickup (someone must have told him, there was a new cook who had just arrived and they had been talking in Spanish).  We told him yes, he asked to go look at them and then came in and asked if we would sell any.  We said yes again and gave him our name and number.  We said we would charge $50 for a 20-30# animal. This was the weight range he was looking at.  We also told him we had a bigger weather at the house if he was interested.
He hasn't called yet, but the new sheep have settled in nicely.  They are pretty skittish around the dogs.  I finally had to yell at Sprout to quit running through them.  He knows better than to chase the sheep, but these are so skittish that if ran in front of them they scatter.  After three times, I had to tell him to knock it off.
So it looks like we can get a few more ewes this next year locally.  Will be nice to not have to drive a long ways away.  It was kind of funny the way things kept falling in place for the day.  Sometimes it just works.